Maradona Unveils Statue of Himself in India

Diego Maradona was on hand to unveil an incredible 12ft statue of himself holding the World Cup in Kolkata, India, but questions were immediately raised over whether it actually looks like him.

The former Argentina international has become something of an icon in the football-mad city after an original visit in 2008, during which thousands of fans packed into the airport to catch a glimpse of one of the game’s greats.

His second public appearance has been a long-time coming having originally been scheduled for September, meaning the statue had to stay behind its blue and white curtain for months before the man himself could unveil it at a ceremony on Monday.

But despite the extra time his delayed arrival allowed sculptors, they were still unable to produce a statue that bared much resemblance to the enigmatic young man who inspired Argentina to a World Cup victory in Mexico 31 years ago.

The chubby cheeks and double chin given to his effigy seem to bear more likeness to Maradona’s more portly figure of today rather than the athletic physique he sported during his playing career.

The 57-year-old, along with girlfriend Rocio Oliva, were also in Kolkata for charitable reasons and handed cheques worth 10,000 rupees (£116) to 11 cancer patients. He also waved off a new ambulance before addressing the huge crowd.

‘I am not god of football but a simple footballer,’ he said modestly. ‘I’m happy to be here in Kolkata again. It’s amazing to have my statue here.’

Maradona is also due to take on cricket icon Sourav Ganguly in an exhibition match titled ‘Diego vs Dada’ in nearby Barasat, although local media appears to doubt it will actually happen.



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